Overnight oats have become a growing breakfast trend all across the world. From Bollywood celebrities to food bloggers, everyone swears by their humble bowl of overnight oats.
The popularity of overnight oats is on the rise. Everyone knows oatmeal is a nutritious dish to add to your diet, but overnight oats hold a special appeal and may offer even more benefits than their cooked counterpart. If you are tired of regular oatmeal and are hunting for a make-ahead breakfast that’s both delicious and nutritious, overnight oats may be your perfect solution.
Oats are loaded with good-for-you nutrients like fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids, among other things. Plus, oats don’t contain added sugar if you read the labels and avoid certain instant varieties. They also can be eaten in different ways, making them one versatile power food.
What Are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are raw oats that have been soaked overnight in liquid: popular choices include almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk or Greek yogurt. The oats absorb the liquid during the night, softening them, in the same way, cooking them softens them, except without the work! You can soak pretty much any variety of oats, although quick cook or rolled oats.
Quick cook or rolled oats are often preferred because they absorb the liquid faster than, say, steel-cut oats.
Here are five reasons you should try overnight oats this week.
1. Overnight Oats Have Increased Digestibility
When you soak oats overnight, it’s almost like you’re cooking them, but the process is much longer and slower, and it’s done without heat. Soaking helps the starches break down and reduces the natural phytic acid, which may help your body utilize the oats’ nutrients much more efficiently. This may make the oat mixer easier to digest compared to oats that have been cooked, which is great for everyone but is especially helpful for people with gluten sensitivities.
2. Overnight Oats Contain Increased Resistant Starch
Resistant starch is found in all foods that contain starch, but it appears to be present at higher levels with cooled starchy foods instead of cooked ones. RS is a natural carb and helps to improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase feelings of fullness and decrease insulin spikes associated with eating hot starchy foods.
3. Overnight Oats Are Versatile
Not only are overnight oats quick and easy to make, but they are also extremely versatile. You can experiment and brainstorm endless variations and stir-ins, which helps to keep things interesting and make breakfast on the go fun and satisfying. All you need to make overnight oats are your oats of choice, your liquid, and a sweetener.
4. Overnight Oats Are Time Savers
Prepping your oats recipe before bed probably takes less than 5 minutes, and when you wake up in the morning, they are ready to rock! No cooking, no mess, no fuss. You can prep all your add-ins the night before as well and have them ready to stir in or bag them up to take with you.
5. Overnight Oats Boost Your Fiber Intake
Overnight oats contain soluble fiber which helps reduce blood pressure by unclogging the intestinal tract. It binds with LDL cholesterol in the body to soften arteries for better blood circulation. This decreases high cholesterol levels and lowers your chances of developing heart diseases. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber. It offers a daily intake of 14 g of fiber for both men and women. That said, consuming overnight oats by incorporating fruits, yogurt, or milk can increase your fiber intake and accelerate healthy fiber absorption in the body.
How to Make Easy Overnight Oats Yourself
Best Basic Overnight Oats Recipe common Ingredients:
OATS: Rolled oats (or old fashioned oats) are the most common oat to use in overnight oats and become thick and creamy after soaking in liquid, Quick-cooking oats end up more like cold porridge, but they’re still chewy and flavour super well or Steel-cut oats.
MILK: Milk is mostly preferred liquid to make overnight oats and very essential. You can use any kind of milk you want such as cows, almond, coconut, soy etc.
SEEDS: Majority prefer Chia seeds as they are a great source of antioxidants, fibre, and omega-3’s, but they help thicken your overnight oats and make them extremely creamy and satisfying.
GREEK YOGURT: Greek yogurt is such an amazing, tangy add-in for overnight oats that really enhances the flavor and makes them extra creamy. Also a great post of extra protein.
VANILLA EXTRACT: You can’t go wrong with vanilla. We almost always add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to all overnight oatmeal recipes!
SWEETENER: All natural sweeteners are key when it comes to overnight oats. Ditch the table sugar or brown sugar for something more natural like honey or maple syrup or stevia.
NUTS & DRIED FRUIT: In many of the recipes you’ll find the oats flavoured nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts etc and dried fruit like raisins, apricots, figs.
Get inspired by these healthy overnight oats ideas so you can meal prep a satiating breakfast.
Mistakes to Avoid Making Overnight Oats
Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your morning oats are as creamy and comforting as possible before you run out the door.
1. Guessing on the liquid-to-oat ratio.
Stick with a 2:1 ratio of liquid to oats when making overnight oats to achieve a spoonable, porridge-like consistency.
Getting the liquid-to-oat ratio down is one major key to success when it comes to overnight oats. If you use too little liquid, the oats won’t be able to soften enough and get that creamy consistency. Instead, you’ll have something more like cement. Yet, use too much liquid and you’ll end up with soup.
2. Not adding a pinch of salt.
As much as oats love maple syrup and brown sugar, they also love (and need) salt. Just like any other food, overnight oats need to be seasoned properly and will frankly taste like cardboard without that pinch of salt, regardless of how much syrup you drizzle on.
3. Reaching for instant oats.
Old-fashioned rolled oats are the best when it comes to the variety to use for overnight oats. They’ll give you that creamy, smooth texture with just the right amount of chew. Leave instant oats behind when making overnight oats. Since they are so small, they’ll actually just end up almost dissolving in the liquid.
4. Tossing all the nuts and fruits in at once.
Reserve mix-ins like nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and coconut flakes for the morning. Chia seeds and dried fruit can be adding at night, as chia seeds do need time to absorb liquid and dried fruit will plump up overnight. Just like the oats, anything you add to the liquid is going to soak and soften so you’ll be left with chewy nuts and mushy fruit.
5. Forgetting to stir before digging in.
Give your overnight oats one final stir after taking them out of the fridge to ensure all that chewy, crunchy, mushy goodness is well-combined and you’ve got all those great textures in each bite. The bottom of the oats might be pretty mushy while the top still could have a little crunch left in it, which means you’ll be digging through all sorts of different textures.
If you want to feel fuller and burn more fat, there’s nothing healthier than eating overnight oats every day. Contrary to popular belief, eating overnight oats is not a bad thing. People enjoy that pudding-like, creamy muesli for good reasons. The right mix of healthy food choices, studies suggest, leads to happiness, good health, and weight loss. So why won’t you incorporate overnight oats in your daily meals?
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar